Thursday, June 2, 2011

What Does God Think About Most?

I don't think this is one of those questions that most people would sit around and burn up their brain cells on.  However it is a question that if paid attention to will not only give us tremendous insight on how to live our lives, but will be the very source of all our joy.  It's a similar question to "Why do you think God created you?"  Some reading this might think those are easy questions, but reader beware!  A careless answer might get you wandering away from orthodoxy.

These inquiries are so massive, because the way that we answer them reveal what we believe about ourselves, the world, and most importantly God.  I can't tell you how many people would answer the later question by saying "...because He loves us."  Now that is true, in fact in Psalm 139 it says that God's thoughts towards us are uncountable, more than the sand on the sea shore.   But is that the ultimate answer, or is there something more ultimate?  What is the chief reason that God made us?   We must go to the beginning for that answer.  Gen. 1:26 tells us that God made us in His image.  But I think that is lost on many who don't think to delve further, so another question is helpful here:  "Why do you look in the mirror?"  The answer, at least on some level, must be because you like to look at yourself.  Now when I put it like that, it sounds kind of wrong.  But that is exactly why God created us.  He likes to look at Himself!

Jonathan Edwards puts it like this:
"...if God has respect to things according to their nature and proportions, he must necessarily have the greatest respect to himself.  It would be against the perfection of his nature, his wisdom, holiness, and perfect rectitude, whereby he is disposed to do everything that is fit to be done to suppose otherwise." (John Piper's God's Passion for His Glory including the text of Jonathan Edward's The End for Which God Created the World pg. 140)

Now that is a mouthful, but to sum up what Edwards is saying would be to say that since the very nature of God is holy, he must therefore delight in holy things.  Furthermore he must delight in the most holy thing.  To esteem something that is less holy over and above something that is infinitely holy would in fact be unholy.  So God greatest affections are directed towards the most holy thing in all the universe by the very definition of Him being God.  Edwards concludes by saying "...the affection of God CHIEFLY consists in a regard to HIMSELF, infinitely above his regard to all other beings; in other words, his holiness consists in this." (ibid pg. 141)

So God's highest regard or affection or respect is directed towards himself.  In other words, God thinks about Himself most!  John Piper is extremely helpful here:

"This should be read and understood in the context of God's infinite moral rectitude or righteousness or holiness that inclines him to delight in what is most beautiful and worthy, namely, himself.  To many this sounds "selfish" or "egocentric" or "narcissistic" in a pejorative sense, because such a self-assessment and self-worship in us creatures would, in fact, be evil.  But that is only because we are not worthy of such a  self-assessment and self-worship.  God is.  In fact, he would be unrighteous if he failed to delight fully in what is most beautiful and worthy, namely, himself."  (ibid pg. 152)

So because God is only righteous all the time, he thinks about what is most righteous all the time, namely Himself.  Not only that, but He is His own motive for everything that He does in EVERY situation.  No exceptions. Ever.

Isaiah 48:9-11 says

"For the sake of My name I delay My wrath, and for My praise I restrain it for you, in order not to cut you off.  Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.  For My own sake, for My sake, I will act;  for how can My name be profaned?  And My glory I will not give to another."

(next time I'll talk about why this is the best news for us)

No comments:

Post a Comment